A devoted dog (Josh Gad) discovers the meaning of its own existence through the lives of the humans it teaches to laugh and love. Reincarnated as multiple canines over the course of five decades, the lovable pooch develops an unbreakable bond with a kindred spirit named Ethan (Bryce Gheisar). As the boy grows older and comes to a crossroad, the dog once again comes back into his life to remind him of his true self.
Release date: January 27, 2017 (USA)
Director: Lasse Hallström
Music composed by: Rachel Portman
Producer: Gavin Polone
Production companies: Amblin Entertainment, Walden Media, DreamWorks, Amblin Partners
"You don’t need an animal-rights group’s boycott to give you permission to avoid A Dog’s Purpose. You can skip it just because it’s clumsily manipulative dreck."
Neil Genzlinger - The NYTimes
"Director Lasse Hallstrom specializes in emotional, feel-good fare that can make audiences cry, and this tearjerking drama is no exception."
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
"Along with its unabashed appeal to sentimental memories of childhood pets, this film revels in mom-and-apple-pie nostalgia for an America that no longer exists, if it ever existed."
Katie Rife - A.V. Club
Because of the mixture of reviews for this film, I shamefully went into this movie with low expectations. I expected for it to be predictable, and honestly, it was very predictable. Maybe it was because of the previews and we knew pretty much how it was going to end. And my thoughts on them giving away the story line told me, the point of this movie was more about the journey than it was about the plot. "What's YOUR purpose in life?" By the end, we find it.
There's not much to spoil and I admit, there are parts of the Critics reviews that I agree with. (I usually disagree with Critic reviews as I believe they are harsh on many movies that are amazing, and maybe go into these films with expectations set so high for the writer, producer, actors, plot, etc.) However, in A Dog's Purpose, I agree, it was very predictable and packed with clichés. BUT, here's my thought about clichés. There are times when we expect things from some movies. THIS is one of them, I seriously went into this movie expecting for the BEST 'dog movie' clichés to be kept up. Dog saves lives, dog's treated like crap, dog searches miles for owner, dog loves everyone. I think when it comes to books and movies, there are times when clichés are OK. For me, sometimes, I expect movies to follow through the way I want. It could just be me, but had the dog not rescued his owner in a house fire, I would've been pretty disappointed. Rather, had the scene not been written into the movie, I would've felt let down. Like "How dare you write a movie about a dog and a boy and you not tell the infamous"Dog rescues owner from a house fire" tale! Come on, there are things you expect from books and movies, which mean, you're expecting CLICHES! It may not seem like it, but it is and everyone shouldn't be so darn harsh about them.
Was the movie good. . .? Yes, it was actually. A tear-jerker to say the least. Heartfelt to be totally honest. There were multiple areas in this movie were I suspect the writer and producer expected to jerk tears from the watcher. And maybe, for most, it would've succeeded. But if I may be totally honest. I'm a one and done. This dog dies more than once. (Like a cat, this pooch has nine lives) after death number one, which welled tears in my eyes to the point I needed to wipe them away, I was content with that. But times two and three. . . It became expected and a little annoying. (SORRY. I SAID IT! UGH! It hurt to say. I REALLY wanted to like every minute of this movie. I just didn't)
The movie was far too long. (Runtime: 2 hours) By the time came when Bailey (The dog, voice Josh Cad) found his owner (At the time, actor Dennis Quaid), I was very bored with this movie. I'd begun to slump in my chair and found attention drawn to the audience and stillness of the children attending this film. With that being said, I do recommend this movie to adults with children 7 years and older. (This is the age range for the children who sat in the theater with my daughter and I.) The movie theater was very quiet and the kids remained calm throughout. So, thumbs up on that, Lasse! This was a plus for me, which keeps me from giving this movie a low rating. Any producer and writer who can keep the attention of young children deserves an award.
"And I'm back! Again and again!"
I was stunned with how this movie sucked me in, however. The first hour and a half of this movie kept me very intrigued. I loved watching the younger Ethan (K.J. Apa) and am growing more of a fan to Britt Robertson the more often I see her in movies. I, also, seriously enjoyed the story line behind the Young Adult couple. We all know I'm a sucker for YA Rom.
The actors were amazing. The plot was expected. The ending was predictable. There were no surprises. (I am a fan of surprises. This movie was an exception, however.)
Overall, out of 10, I'm at a 6. It was a great movie all the way through, and it started off really good! It just didn't end that way. I wish this movie had a better ending. However, the last five minutes I did appreciate. I enjoyed Baily's determination to convince who he was and I'm a fan of not giving up. I really enjoyed the actors as well. My biggest pet peeves was that I just wanted more and believe the movie could've been much shorter.
So overall. I give this movie a 6 out of 10! I do recommend it as a one time watch to say you've seen it! Because overall it was a pretty decent time waster. Lastly, it did encourage me to read the book! I hope you enjoy!
Keep reading for the perspective of an 8 year old, My daughter, Namia.
Perspective of an Eight-year-old for A Dog's Purpose
I give the movie a ten out of ten because I like the dogs. And I am becoming a dog fan! The dog is determined to find his owner, and he has many lives to find him. He tries to find a good owner. And at the end, it's like real life. You try to find the purpose in life. Plus, the dogs are really cute. And, the movie is pretty funny. I liked how he said "Wait, I'm a girl?!" it made me laugh a lot. It made me super calm and I wasn't super loud over the movie. There are a lot of movies like this kind of movie but they tend to suck at the end. This movie was better than I ever experienced. The plot has more thoughts into it than other movies. And. . . it has no cursing and I'm proud of that. *Claps* And, more movies like this have cussing in it and I'm proud someone finally made a movies without cussing. Also, it's like the dog is like a cat. It has the good lives and bad lives. Movies should be like this one, better, with rain clouds and sunshine. I recommend watching this movie!
This movie definitely encouraged me to read the book.
That's my perspective. ~ Namia
Actor info provided by IDMb and of course Google.